4 posts categorized "Travel"


Mobile Tech and the Automotive Industry



More an American institution than a mere brand, Ford is joining the mobile revolution with the launch of a new app. What’s interesting about it is that it has nothing to do with operating or securing their product - not directly anyway. 

The 120-year-old company has taken a commendably modern approach to the app, which is not so much about promoting their cars as promoting the whole concept of mobility, whether by public transportation, ride-sharing services, bicycles or car (Ford or otherwise).

The FordPass app claims to offer a ‘marketplace for mobility solutions.’ It’s a bold move. The automotive giant is accepting and taking advantage of changing attitudes to motor travel. Car ownership for every person or family in America was an aspiration largely created and marketed by Ford themselves. But it’s no longer inevitable that each individual will even desire their own vehicle, with many people choosing to forgo it altogether.

Vehicle sharing, whether in the form of companies like Lyft and Uber, or community-based car pool systems, is part of the ecologically-aware zeitgeist, especially among younger people. By embracing this changing culture and reaching out, not just to non-Ford owners but to those with no car at all, the company hopes to own the conversation - or at least part of it - surrounding the ethical, environmental and health ramifications of one car, one person.

Ok, ok, but what does it do? Well, the app has a lot going for it. Like many multi-purpose apps, the best way of getting to grips with it is to download it yourself and have a play around. The central feature, ‘My Vehicles’ allows drivers to upload information about their cars, trucks and motorbikes, such as model details and how many miles are on the clock. 

The loyalty program allows users to accrue points when they buy a Ford vehicle, fill up on gas or schedule a parking space using the app. In addition, the app functions as a key capable of starting the engine and remotely locking and unlocking your car (though perhaps not in that order) - a feature only usable on recent models.

Other features include parking assistance, which allows you to geo-locate your vehicle in large parking lots.


Mobile App Solutions for Travelers



Taking a vacation this year? For some, the stresses incurred by traveling is enough to put them off going away at all. Fortunately there’s an abundance of mobile technology designed to make travel more enjoyable and minimize the stress. Here, we take a look at some of the bast travel-centered apps to hit the market:



Available in 30 cities around the world, Citymapper is designed to help you navigate around unfamiliar places in ways that Google Maps alone can’t. It provides detailed, easy-to-use journey planners, with real time disruption alerts and departure times for public transport. It also integrates Uber, and has a nifty cycle route map, so all your potential travel requirements are covered.


Wolfram Sun Exposure

Enter your skin type and location and this app - available on iOS - will tell you how long you can safely stay in the sun before getting burned. Other data inputs include the time of day and the strength of the sun cream you’ve lathered on. For those with sun-sensitive skin, Wolfram is a real boon when travelling to sunny climes.



With more than 70 million registered members, Duolingo is fast becoming the go-to app for basic language tuition. It’s no substitute for proper language lessons, but if you want enough to get by and show some common courtesy to your host country, this well-designed tool game-ifies the learning process to keep you incentivized. Duolingo covers 21 languages - enough to assist you in the most commonly visited countries around the world; it even offers a course in Esperanto, which is more popular than you might think - 30 users daily have completed the Esperanto course since its launch in 2015.


XE Currency

Your one-stop shop for online currency conversions, this app proves that the simplest ideas are the best. With more than 20 million downloads since launching, XE Currency has added a few useful features recently, including current market rates for precious metals and historic currency charts. But the main attraction remains the user-friendly conversion platform, which handily saves the last updated rates in real time, so that you always have up to date information - even in locations with limited connectivity.



Your own personal travel agent pulls together all those strands of travel info that used to be so complicated to manage. All you have to do is forward your various confirmation emails regarding flights, hotels, rental cars, dinner and event bookings, and Tripit creates a single itinerary for your entire vacation. 


App in the Air

This flight tracking app - one of a few on the market - claims to cover more airlines and airports than any other. Stay in the loop regarding delays, departures and arrivals, and use the integrated version within the aformentioned Tripit app to make life even easier.


Virgin Leads the Way with mTickets



In the UK, Richard Branson’s train operator has become the first franchised rail company to offer mobile tickets across all routes. So-called ‘m-tickets’ - which use a barcode presented on a mobile screen in order to grant passage - will be available for purchase on the Virgin Trains website and app.

The move will allow passengers to use mobile devices as both shopping portal and proof of purchase, streamlining the process - and saving tonnes of orange card to boot. Commuters can bid goodbye to lengthy lines at the ticket machine, and never have to worry about losing their proof of purchase again. It’s hoped that Virgin - so often a pioneer in new ways of doing business - will be the touchpaper for other train companies to follow suit.

After a successful pilot, m-tickets became available across all Virgin routes earlier this month. As of April, passengers will be able to buy mobile tickets on the website.

Commercial Director Graham Leech said the firm loves “innovating for our customers, which is why we were the first train company to introduce automatic delay repay and why we’re now the first franchised operator to bring in m-tickets.”

For regular rail users, such innovations are long overdue. Smart ticketing practices that use the full force of the mobile technology we all carry with us promise to improve train travel and cut down on unnecessary waste. 


Marketing Ideas for Summer Camps


With the summer months now upon us, marketing to new families is an important and ongoing process for camps looking to maintain a steady and healthy flow of campers. Here are some creative marketing ideas to incorporate into your summer camp marketing strategy. 


Work with the Community 

One of the best places to find kids for your summer camp is at schools. In addition to distributing marketing materials throughout school classes, offer to provide special events or activities during assembly periods. Use camp resources to model the activities after the school’s motto or core values; this builds trust between the school and your camp while gently advertising to the students and their parents.  

Another way to interact with the community is to sponsor a little league team. In addition to wearing their branded uniforms, teams travel to other communities and appear in local newspapers. For a small investment, you can support a local sports team as well as build your business. 


Create/Support special events  

Offering special events on the camp premises is a great way to provide additional revenue to your business, particularly during slow periods or off-months. Birthday parties are a great way to invite enthusiastic campers back to camp for a special day and share it with all of their friends. You can even provide special theme packages to customize the experience. 

Be sure to provide the host family with invitations. Aside from helping out the host family, this is a great way to make a big impression with new parents. Also, don’t forget waivers, which are important for liability reasons and also allow you to collect personal information from new parents like email address and phone number.  

Don’t forget special events happening outside the camp either. Charity organizations, churches and schools often hold special events or fundraises. These events are a great opportunity to donate a package for new campers. In addition to helping the fundraiser, this is an inexpensive way to gain new customers and show off your brand to the community.


Online Marketing 

Good use of email can be an easy and effective marketing tool for summer camps. Communicate special events via email, as well as special offers, quarterly newsletters, and contests.

With a healthy email list, you can improve engagement online by offering parents free pictures of their child enjoying the summer camp. Create a fun photo template that includes your camp logo and date. Parents will love these photo updates and may even forward them to family and friends or share them on social media. 

Camp directories can also help boost your online presence. There are several directories to choose from so knowing which one is best for your summer camp is critical.  

To choose the best directory, imagine what parents might search for online. Type several keywords into a Google search that you think describes your camp. If a directory appears in the top five spots, or higher than your ranking, that’s a good directory to go with. Also, consider your location. A regional directory might be better than a state directory or vice versa depending on the kind of camp. 

Incorporating one or all of these marketing techniques into your summer camp marketing strategy will bring you closer to community and improve your bottom line.